AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Ahead of a planned reveal tomorrow at the New York Auto Show, the photos of and details on the 2013 Nissan Altima have leaked on VWVortex revealing an impressively fuel efficient sedan with plenty of styling borrowed from the Maxima.
Sharper lines and a more aggressive front fascia define the new Altima, due to dealerships this Summer. For 2013, Nissan’s volume-selling sedan gets a more efficient 2.5-liter inline four cylinder engine that takes advantage of variable valve timing for improved efficiency.
A rethought continuously-variable transmission (CVT), standard in all Altimas, also contributes to the improved fuel economy for an estimated 38 mpg highway, as well as 27 mpg in the city – the best of any non-hybrid mid-size sedan, even topping the Camry’s 25/35 rating. The efficiency-minded four-cylinder also gains seven horsepower for a total 182 and an estimated 180 lb-ft of torque.
With a 2.0-liter, 148-hp Boxer engine, though not the same as the company’s hotly anticipated BRZ coupe, and the underpinnings of an Impreza, the XV Crosstrek is set to arrive in the U.S. market this fall — just in time for soccer moms to make a trade in and attend their kid’s games in something new.
Despite running on the Impreza platform, the XV Crosstrek is built on a significantly modified chassis that the company says increases the car’s capability, presumably in Suby-suited conditions like winter driving.
As is common practice for the company, the car comes standard with symmetrical all-wheel drive and is paired with either a five-speed manual or optional CVT automatic. Manual drivers will probably appreciate that Subaru is also including hill start assistance with its manual trasmission models so the car won’t back-roll while sitting on an incline.
As we’ve previously reported, the company announced plans to run its WRX and more potent WRX STi on a different platform for the 2013 model year, allowing further separation between the family oriented Impreza and sport-spirited rally racers. While that’s good news for people interested in buying a new WRX, it also means people shouldn’t expect any of that testosterone in the altered Impreza platform which the XV Crosstrek is built on.
Still, it comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels which bridge the 8.7-inch ground clearance gap between the underbody and road, which is more than most crossovers and some SUVs.
Finally, the car comes in two trim lines: premium and limited. The latter offers a host of more luxurious features including an improved infotainment system. Other features in the premium package include power windows and door locks, which suggests that these features might not be standard on the entry-level model. That seems strange given how common those features are in today’s market.
Pricing has yet to be announced on the XV Crosstrek, but we’ll be reporting live from the New York Auto Show to bring you the latest coverage.
The Terrafugia Transition has been a work in progress since 2006, but will finally show off its unique design at the 2012 New York Auto Show.
The Transition is being called the first practical street-legal airplane by the company, and will no doubt garner some attention when it hits the show floor. The car has folding wings and a full propeller drive system that allows it to take flight as well as drive on the street.
Terrafugia will need to impress the right people, as the Transition is estimated to cost $279,000.
For that price, the eccentric consumer gets a small airplane that fits in a single-car garage. The Transition also runs off super unleaded gas instead of airplane fuel and is able to drive safely on the road, according to the company.
The same 100-hp engine capable of spinning the rear-mounted propeller or powering the wheels on the ground, both via a continuously variable transmission.
Terrafugia’s video explains most aspects of the car in detail. You can watch it below.
While many automakers are developing new transmissions with more and more gears, Honda is investing in a tried and tested transmission platform, the continuously variable transmission or CVT.
Honda announced yesterday that it will be investing $98 million at its Anna, Ohio, engine plant to build advanced pulley components for the automakers new CVT transmissions. These CVT transmissions will first debut in the 2013 Honda Accord and will also eventually find their way into CR-V as well as Civic. Paired with the new “Earth Dreams” 2.4 liter direct injection engine, the new CVT will help Honda’s midsize cars claim 10 percent better fuel economy compared to the current five-speed transmission.
This investment is in conjunction with a $120 million investment made last year into the Russells Point, Ohio transmission plant where the new CVTs will be produced starting in 2013. Honda said that Ohio is a very important production center for its North American operations having invested $500 million since November of 2010. ”For decades, our two Ohio powertrain plants have worked together to deliver advanced products for our customers,” said Hide Iwata, president and CEO of Honda of America Mfg., Inc. “The production of this new CVT technology puts the Buckeye State right in the middle of Honda’s global strategy.”
Honda is working hard to introduce a new line of engines and transmissions to make their product offerings more fuel efficient.
Honda has announced it will debut an all-new Accord Coupe concept at the Detroit Auto Show in January and if past concepts (above) are any guess it will bear a close resemblance to the production model. In a press release Honda calls the concept “dynamic and aggressive”.
The concept foreshadows a production version of the 9th generation Accord, which will debut as a 2013 model and will go on sale in the Fall of 2012.
No details of the vehicle have been provided but Honda recently announced details that it would add direct-injection to much of its lineup, including its V6 and 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engines. Also look for the use of a CVT transmission as opposed to a conventional automatic. Honda has announced a commitment to be a leader in both fuel economy and engine output
See AutoGuide’s complete 2012 Detroit Auto Show coverage here.
Much has been said about the new Honda Civic receiving a list of early updates in a bid to silence critics while restoring the car’s class-leading fuel economy. This has all but been confirmed, with the Japanese automaker revealing an entire new lineup of engines and transmissions at a press briefing held at the Twin Ring Motegi Racing Circuit on the eve of the Tokyo Motor Show.
In total, Honda unveiled five all-new engines, ranging from a new Kei car 660 cc motor, to a flagship 3.5-liter V6 powertrain. With these engines Honda has said it is committed to being both a leader in fuel economy and engine output.
Engines destined for North America include a new 1.5-liter, 1.8-liter and 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, as well as a 3.5-liter V6. Across the board, all will receive direct-injection technology. The 4-cylinder engines gain a new VTEC arrangement with an Atkinson cycle lower load cam plus extensive friction reduction technologies. The result on a car like the Civic will be a 10 percent improvement in fuel economy, plus a 5 percent increase in power over the current model. The same goes for the 2.4-liter, which one Honda representative told us the new 2012 CR-V just missed out on receiving.
As for the V6 engine, it will replace both the current 3.5-liter and 3.7-liter engines, combining the best technologies of both, including a cylinder deactivation system while gaining direct injection. Honda provided a preliminary, and conservative, estimated power output with 310-hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, with a much stronger torque band.
Of note, all of the engines included a start-stop function, although no decision has been made by Honda as to whether we’ll see this technology in North America.
Apart from the new dual-clutch 7-speed transmission (integrated into a new SH-AW, discussion of automatics at the Honda event was non-existent. Instead, Honda revealed several new CVTs (and yes, they can hear you groaning in Motegi). Of note is a new CVT designed for compact cars, as well as another for mid-size, meaning you should look for CVTs to find their way into cars like the Civic, Accord and CR-V soon. As terrible as all this may sound for Honda owners dreading the thought of a CVT, the good news is what Honda is calling “G-Design Shift”, which was created to help deliver more immediate throttle response. We did have the change to test out the new CVT in a 2.4-liter direct-injection TSX but we can’t tell you about it until the embargo lifts next week. Stay tuned.
A new continuously-variable transmission, a supercharged 2.5L four-cylinder engine and an front-drive hybrid system should all arrive on the new Nissan Altima for 2013, helping Nissan stay competitive in an increasingly tough segment.
The hybrid drivetrain will be similar to that used on the Infiniti M Hybrid, but adapted for front-wheel drive vehicles. The new hybrid system will work in concert with the new CVT gearbox, which is expected to bring a 10 percent fuel economy boost to any vehicle, regardless of whether it’s equipped with a hybrid system or not.
Finally, Nissan’s venerable 2.5L 4-cylinder engine will get a supercharger, though power figures were not released.
[Source: Automotive News]
Audi has priced the 2012 Audi A6 2.0T for $42,575 . The A6 will come equipped with a front-wheel drive turbocharged direct-injected 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The powerplant will crank out 211-hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and get 33 mpg on the highway.
This A6 is well priced considering the outgoing A6 also used a CVT without a quattro system, had a 3.2-liter V6 but started at $46,000. Audi has chosen to price the car at the 42K mark to aggressively compete against the BMWs 5-series and the Mercedes-Benz E-class. The 5-series starts at just under $46,000 and the E-class costs just over $50,000. Keep in mind that both the BMW and Mercedes will use V6 engines for base models, but for now, Audi has the 4-cylinder segment all to itself.
The Mitsubishi Colt is one of the oldest nameplates in the compact car market, having been sold across the globe in fairly substantial numbers. While North Americans missed out on the previous incarnation, the Colt was well regarded as a practical and inexpensive subcompact that was also a competent driver’s car.
For the next generation of Colt, known as “Mitsubishi Concept Global Small”, the focus is naturally on fuel economy and frugality. The concept version will debut at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show while the production version will hit the road in 2012, and be produced at Mitsubishi’s facility in Thailand. Technical details are scant, but a CVT gearbox will be employed to help bring the new Colt to the top of the fuel economy standings, while the car is said to emit 90 grams of C02 per kilometer, an important figure in Europe, where cars are taxed on emissions.
Get more 2011 Geneva Auto Show news here.
Honda has given its European market Jazz (also known as the Fit to us North Americans) a mild refresh, and confirmed availability of the Jazz Hybrid that debuted at the 2010 Paris Auto Show.
A front end re-style drops the drag co-efficient to 0.33, and the 1.2L and 1.4L powerplants get minor reductions in CO2 emissions. Higher-grade materials adorn the cabin, while leather seats are an option on higher trim levels.
Most significant is the option of a CVT transmission, something that was apparently quite popular on the first generation Jazz. The CVT will be standard equipment on the Jazz Hybrid, and an option on 1.4L engine cars.
In the history of automotive transmissions, the CVT undoubtedly ranks near the bottom of the pile, as one of the car world’s poorly thought out inventions.
The CVT offers the worst of all worlds, combining the worst parts of an automatic with the efficiency of a manual. It makes you feel like you’re driving something with an outboard motor, thanks to its ability to hold a constant rpm, but somehow it has survived and is still offered by many companies today.
Now we have word that GM may offer the CVT on upcoming versions of the Chevrolet Cruze, Spark and Aveo, thanks to the fact that it will bump up fuel economy by roughly 10 percent. GM needs to increase mileage by this amount for the next model cycle, and this is simply the most expedient route. Most consumers may not even notice, but color us ticked off.
[Source: Automotive News]
For the first time in two decades, Subaru is expected to debut an all-new 4-cylinder boxer engine later this year, which will be used in most models in its lineup to help improve fuel economy.
According to a report by Japan’s Nikkei business daily, the new engine will be between 2.0- and 2.5-liters with improved fuel economy by roughly 10 percent and will be used in everything from the Legacy to the Impreza. First, however, it will launch in the Forester. The new engine is also slated to get a CVT transmission – a notable improvement over the 4-speed auto-box in the Forrester and Impreza.
Subaru has confirmed that a new engine is being prepped to debut but no details have been provided.
It’s possible that the new engine could use both direct-injection and a start-stop system, two technologies that were showcased on the Hybrid Tourer Concept – a hybrid model that Subaru unveiled at last year’s Tokyo Auto Show. Subaru is also expected to deliver a hybrid model in 2012 based on an existing vehicle.
[Source: Automotive News]
Subaru is recalling nearly 30,000 Outback and Legacy models due to a fault hose in the CVT transmission that could cause a fluid leak. Subaru says that only vehicles built between July 31 and December 1, 2009 are affected, and hasn’t mentioned any safety hazards in their recall notice. However a fluid leak has the potential to damage the transmission, which could be an expensive fix.
Recall notice after the jump
New stand-alone hybrid model from Honda to get 40/43 mpg city/highway
Honda may have beat Toyota to the hybrid game, but Toyota has certainly been beating Toyota AT it. It is for that reason that Honda has created a stand-alone hybrid model, the Insight.
Unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show without fanfare – or even without a press conference, two different Insight models sat in the Honda booth.
Marketed as a Hybrid Compact Car (the Prius is technically large enough inside to no longer be considered a compact car) the Insight is a five passenger five door vehicle powered by a 1.3-liter four-cylinder i-VTEC motor, an electric engine and a battery pack. Honda calls this system IMA for Integrated Motor Assist and it produces a combined 98hp at 5800 rpm and 123 ft-lbs of torque at 1000 rpm.
Honda will apparently continue to sell the Civic Hybrid which makes 110hp and is a larger vehicle with a 6-inch longer wheelbase.
The Insight will feature a CVT transmission, which helps the vehicle tro achieve an estimated 40 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway.
A unique feature of the Insight is the Eco Assist system, which will change the background color of the speedometer to let drivers know how economically they are driving.
Honda also includes an ECON mode that can be activated by a putton on the steering wheel. Once pushed the vehicle will take steps to preserve fuel, including: increasing when the gasolie engine will stop under idle; reducing the climate control fan speed; reducing the throttle inputs and optimizing the CVT operation; and by limiting power and torque by four percent.
2010 Honda Insight
Official release after the jump: